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Millions and millions of full sized books and small booklets are

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sold each year. Most are produced by the large publishing

houses. However, there are also several million books sold

every year by small, unassuming, one-person publishing

companies. Many of these one-person publishers operate from a

home-based office. And, surprisingly, some home-based publishers

earn excellent incomes. (What’s more, some are even becoming

In this report you’ll learn how to succeed as a home-based

publisher, producing books, booklets, reports and manuals on

nearly every subject imaginable.

And, if you have no desire to

write your own material, you’ll learn how to get authors to

Many authors have chosen to by-pass the usual publishing routes

and, instead, self-publish their own books. Admittedly, this

requires more work, but it could also mean more profits. There

are many reasons authors decide to self-publish, including:

1. It’s very difficult to get a manuscript accepted by the giant

publishing houses, unless you are a personality in some field,

or are already a successful author.

2. Often, the large publishing companies will want to edit a

manuscript in such a manner that is unacceptable to the author.

3. Often, the author can market his own book more effectively

than a large publisher will. This is especially true if the

material is of a non- fiction or of “how-to” nature.

4. Self publishing allows the author to keep all of the profits.

5. There is plenty of opportunity for the author/self- publisher

to set up other profit center products that are related to the

So, as you can see, there are many compelling reasons why

thousands of authors have chosen to self-publish. Also, the

availability of low cost microcomputers have made

self-publishing much easier than in past years. This report will

give you a step- by- step approach to self-publishing your own

Note: this report is not about writing. It is assumed that you

will write your own booklets, or hire a ghostwriter to do the

job for you. So the following information will focus only on

the steps you need to take to succeed (make money) as a self-


(1) Generate book ideas and proposals, either your own or by

hiring authors/ghostwriters.

(2) Evaluate these ideas and proposals as to the feasibility of

producing a valued book, and reaching a large group of

(3) Evaluate the size of the market and determine how you’ll

reach that market. Also, research any competitive books.

(4) Consider various related products that you could sell to the

(5) Write and edit the book, pay royalties to an author, or hire

a ghostwriter to do it for you.

(6) Produce a camera-ready copy for the printer.

(7) Begin your marketing effort by designing ads and brochures.

(Often, this step comes before, or during, writing the book.

Your sales material can give you something to “live up to.”)

(8) Launch a full scale marketing and publicity campaign. (A

“full-scale” roll-out should follow a test marketing campaign.

You want to make certain you have a truly salable product, and

should spend little money to test the waters.)

(9) Get printing quotes and have the final version of the book

ready to print and bind as soon as you’re sure there will be

sufficient sales to warrant these costs.

(10) Sell follow-up products to your customers.

All of these steps can be carried out quickly. You could easily

have a fast-selling book on the market within 6 months, or less.

The best, and easiest, subjects for self-publishers to produce

are of the “how to” genre. Books, reports and manuals that tell

readers how to do something are among the liveliest sellers.

It’s very difficult for a small publisher to be successful with

novels, or poetry books. So this report will focus on “how to”

books. However, you can apply many of the techniques discussed

here to market other kinds of books as well.

To begin, you should publish material on topics which you are

most familiar. You should also have a market targeted and a plan

for reaching that market. Example: you may have in mind to

produce a book about how to make money with crafts — to be sold

in small craft shops, craft fairs, craft magazines and through

direct mail to people who make craft items.

It’s not necessary for you to be an expert on a topic if you

aren’t writing the book yourself. But you do need to be

knowledgeable enough to evaluate the book proposals that are

submitted to you. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire an expert to

evaluate the manuscript for you.

Most small publishers specialize in one general topic. For

example: crafts, income opportunities, computers, a particular

hobby, gardening, health and others. A home-based publisher,

like you, will then produce several books on the same subject.

Thus, greatly increasing sales because you’ll have related books

to offer to the same customer.

Once you have a few potential topics, these ideas must be

evaluated. The most crucial question is, “can I sell a book

like this and, if so, how will I sell it?” First, you need to

evaluate the size of the market. If there are only a few

thousand people who would be interested in your book, you may

Many small publishers recommend that you have a potential market

of at least 50,000 people who would be interested in your topic.

Next, you need to determine if these people are easy to reach.

Are there magazines, trade associations, or mailing lists that

Example: Book — HOW TO USE LOTUS 1-2-3 SOFTWARE Market — 2

million owners of Lotus 1-2-3. How to reach — mailing list of

Lotus owners, special magazines for Lotus users, computer

You’ll find that most self-publishers suggest that you find a

market niche that is not being adequately covered. Here’s a

sampling of marketing model railroading, self-publishers,

writers, Apple computer owners, computer programmers, gardeners,

health enthusiasts and hundreds of other narrowly defined

interests. Each of these topics may only have a potential market

of 50,000 to 200,000. But this is often enough for you to be

successful. It’s especially true if you have a good way to reach

these people, and if you publish several books about the topic.

Most publishers are recommending that you stick to special

subject books rather than broad coverage books. It seems as if

the day of the high page count, broad topic books are about

over. There are also many groups of people who are interested in

all kinds of narrow, specialized topics.

Other factors to evaluate include: are there any similar books

already on the market, how is your book different (more

valuable), are there people who really want your book, is your

information up-to-date and can you produce exciting promotional

It’s important to consider your book’s selling points. If it’s

easy, write an ad for the book, that is, your material has many

selling points, the book will be easier to market. More about

The title of your book can have a big effect on sales. A good

title will often result in increased interest as well as higher


Here are a few more good examples of lively book titles:












A good book title should: grab the attention of the customer,

clearly reveal the book’s subject, arouse interest, define the

area covered by the book and promise benefits to the

buyer/reader. Many books also have a subtitle. The subtitle is

usually about 6 to 15 words long and should reveal even more

about the book. For example:

QUICK CASH! How Anyone, At Any Time, Anywhere Can Make At Least

One more thing about book titles: If you’re planning to produce

ads or direct mail pieces to promote your book, you should

consider a snappy, upbeat title which can be also used as your

headline. The above book title, along with its sub-title, in

national full-page advertisements has sold thousands of copies

of the book, Quick Cash. It’s attention-getting, informative,

captures the imagination of the proper prospect and offers a

There are several basic decisions you must make concerning the

layout of your book. These decisions will influence the cost you

pay for printing. For example:

(1) Stick with standard sizes — 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches or 8 1/2 x

11 inches. (Some printers may have slightly different book

dimensions.) But just make sure that you request a standard size

that your printer can easily produce. Odd sizes will increase

the overall cost of printing.

(2) Number of pages — All book printers have optimum number of

pages that they can produce. These are usually increments of 4,

8, 16, or 32 pages. You’ll want to make sure your book falls on

these increments or you’ll pay extra for blank pages. The page

count does not include the cover. Example: It may cost 10% more

for a 161 page book than it does for a 160 page book. Therefore,

you’ll want to reduce your manuscript by one page.

(3) Typeface — This is the style and size of the letters that

make up the text. The most used typeface for books is Times

Roman at 10 point size. If you use 12 point size, more pages are

required, 8 point size will require less pages but will be

harder to read. Don’t use some offbeat, out of the ordinary

typeface. Make your book easy to read.

(4) Type of cover — You can decide to use a plain, one- color

cover or a glossy, 4-color cover. If you’re planning to sell

through bookstores, you’ll need to design a fancier, eye-

catching cover. For mail order sales, customers are buying

information, not a pretty cover; so you can put less emphasis on

(5) Other factors that you may need to consider are: pictures,

photos, an index, size of chapter headings and subheadings.

You can explore various book layouts simply by examining

different books. Pick one that you like and discuss it with your

Once the book, or booklet, is written and edited, your first

concern is to prepare a “camera ready” copy for the printer. The

printer must have a good master copy of your book in order to

prepare plates for the printing press. The pages of this master

copy must appear exactly as you want the final copy of the book

to look. In other words, it should contain: headlines, subheads,

margins, justified text, any graphics or pictures and, ideally,

proportionally spaced letters (typesetting).

The only way to get all of the above features is by having your

book typeset. Unfortunately, typesetting can be expensive. You

may pay $20, or more, per page if you hire a commercial

typesetter. However, microcomputers can reduce the cost of

typesetting. Here’s what I mean:

(1) Produce the book on computer and deliver a floppy disk to a

typesetter who can typeset from your disk. This saves the cost

of having the typesetter key in your book’s text, word by word.

(2) Send the disk to a computer owner who has a laser printer

and desktop publishing software and have him/her typeset the

book for you. They will often do this for a reasonable fee of $1

(3) Use a modem to transfer the text of your book via a

telephone to a typesetter who can handle modem transmissions.

(4) Buy your own laser printer and desktop publishing software

and typeset the book yourself.

If you already own a computer and are going to publish several

books, then option #4 is the best way to go. This gives you

complete control over the typesetting. It also allows you to

perform editing changes quickly.

There are two other options for typesetting your book. The first

is to use a high quality typewriter to produce the text. You can

also use the rub-on headline type that can be purchased from any

office supply store. Unfortunately, this will not produce a very

good looking book. And, with today’s competition and readily

available desktop publishing systems, this approach will leave

you a step behind other publishers.

A slightly better option is a computer system together with a

high quality (24 pin) multi-mode dot matrix printer. This will

produce near letter quality text, justified margins, columns and

proportionally spaced text. These are features you cannot get

with a typewriter. So you’ll end up with a fair quality book

(but not near as good as that produced with a laser printer).

My advice is to get, or rent, a full desktop publishing system

to produce several books. However, if you just want to

self-publish just one book, then consider using the services of

a commercial typesetter. Or hire someone who owns a desktop

publishing system. This will allow you to produce the best

master copy for your printer. And will result in a professional

looking book. At a minimum, you’ll want the book’s cover to be

There are two phases of book editing. The first step is to edit

the book before typesetting, and before a printing master is

produced. This step is designed to eliminate the majority of

The second phase is to complete a final editing of the book

after a master copy has been typeset. The purpose of the second

phase is to eliminate any remaining errors. A second purpose of

this step is to cut out or add material and to adjust the length

You may also wish to adjust the length of a chapter so that each

chapter will begin on a right hand page. You may wish to adjust

the length of the book to save printing costs. For example: as I

mentioned earlier, most book printers operate in set increments

of pages. Many offer 16 page signatures. Therefore, a 160 page

book would take 10 signatures. A 164 page book would take 11

signatures and cost extra because of those additional pages. So

if you can eliminate 4 pages, you’ll save printing costs.

Editing a book takes a considerable amount of time. There are

many things to check for, including: spelling errors, sentences

that are too long, misuse of words, punctuation errors, capital

letters, nonsense sentences, factual errors, omissions of vital

material and so forth. Eliminating spelling errors is usually

the easy part. If you have a computer, you can use a spell

checker program to catch most mistakes.

I usually make about three passes through the entire book

looking for errors. When an error is found, I’ll mark it with a

red pen so it is easy to find. When the entire book has been

edited I return to the computer and make the necessary changes.

Then I’ll print the book one final time and again check for

errors. Finally, I’ll have another person make a last check for

me. Having another person make a final check of the book can be

beneficial. They will look at the book with a fresh view and

catch errors that you may have overlooked.

One of the most important parts of editing is to check the

book’s facts, and its completeness. You must make certain that

the book contains no factual errors and that it adequately

covers the topic. If your book falls short in these two areas,

it will most likely be a failure and a waste of your time and

money, as well as a waste of your reader’s time and money. So

always double check each fact and make certain that all of the

important facets of the topic are discussed. In other words,

make sure that your book has something informative to say …

and that it’s said correctly.

After the book has been typeset, you can make one final check to

look for small errors. It’s almost impossible to catch all

errors, but you’ll want to remove as many as possible. (Note:

there are minor errors in this report. See if you can find

them. It’ll be good exercise.)

Costs to print a book can vary widely, depending upon many

factors and upon the printing company that you choose. Examples:

(1) The type of paper used in the book and on the cover. There

are many different grades of paper from which to choose.

50-pound offset paper is commonly used for the interior of most

(2) The book’s dimensions and number of pages.

(3) The number of books printed.

You’ll pay a much higher cost-per-book if you have, say, 1,000

copies printed rather than 5,000 or 10,000 copies printed. But

the number of books that you produce should also depend upon how

many you think you can sell within the first year of marketing.

You can always order an additional printing, if your book proves

to be a fast seller. The price-per-copy usually decreases at

about 2,500 to 3,000 copies.

You’ll want a sufficient number of pages in your book to

adequately cover the topic. Don’t write in a “too wordy” routine

just to add extra pages. Make sure that you have something worth

saying … then say it succinctly. “How-to” readers dislike

rambling prose. So leave all “fluff” out of your book and get to

At the same time, you’ll want enough pages in your book to

suitably impress the reader that it contains an adequate

coverage of the topic. You can’t completely cover a wide

ranging subject in less than 100 pages. You may need 200 or 300

pages. However, some narrow topics can be nicely covered in 10

to 50 pages. (This booklet is an example.)

It’s often acknowledged by self-publishers that “page count”

determines the price you charge for your book. But, in general,

I disagree. To me, it’s the value of the information you provide

that should determines price. For example, if you have

discovered a unique, fast, easy, low-cost way to make fuel for

automobiles at home, and can relate that information in 6 just

pages, you can most likely sell your report for a very high

price. Who cares how many pages it takes? It’s the how-to

information that’s important.

Once you have the complete specifications of the book, it’s time

to get printing quotes. You should contact at least 4 or 6

printers for these quotes. Too, many printers will give you

Here’s a typical request for a book printing quote:

“Please quote prices for the following book, Cash From Your

120 pages, trim size 8 x 10 inches, 2 color glossy cover,

perfect bound, printed on 50-pound offset paper.

Quote prices for 1,000, 3,000, and 5,000 copies, including

delivery price. This book is to be finished within 30 days of

receipt of camera ready copy.”

Before you choose a printer, be certain to check on reliability,

quality and length of time to produce your book. Ask for a few

customer references and don’t be bashful about checking with

them about the printer’s reliability and qualifications.

You don’t always want to go with the cheapest price. For

example, you may find a nearby printing company that will print

your book at a slightly higher price than a far away competitor.

But you can pick up the books yourself, thus saving the cost of

shipping which may lower the overall cost. The most important

thing you can do is to find a printer with whom you can easily

work. A printer who will readily work with you can provide a lot

of help getting your book ready for printing, thereby saving you

time and money. While price is an important factor, I look for

reliability, honesty, speed and service first.

Book marketing efforts really begin before the book is even

printed. You must define and identify your most likely

customers, determine why they would want your book, design

benefit laden ads and brochures and direct your ads toward the

most likely place your prospect will see it. It can also consist

of developing a wholesale program to dealers, wholesalers and

Other marketing methods include: sending publicity releases,

mailing review book copies to editors of appropriate

publications and, perhaps, appearing on radio or TV talk

shows. There are literally hundreds of different ways to sell

your books. One self-publisher sells 30 to 40 books every day by

hawking them on the street! Imagine … no ad costs, no direct

mail costs, no discounts, no postage … just pure profit.

Some publishers go so far as to design an ad, or direct mail

piece, for their book before they even write it. If they have

trouble writing a hard-hitting ad, they would probably have

trouble selling the book. Too, a pre-publication ad can give

you something to “live up to” as you prepare your book.

All book ads, direct mail pieces and brochures should focus on

the benefits that the book will give the customer. These

benefits include: more money, a better job, health, happiness,

knowledge, love, luck, personal improvement, and so on. Your ads

need to convince your prospects that they’ll enjoy these

benefits by buying your book. Therefore, your ads must be

eye-catching, descriptive and inspirational. If you don’t want

to tackle writing your own ads, hire a direct response

copywriter to do it for you. The really goods ones can often

bring you more business than you can handle. Look in direct

response trade journals such as Direct Marketing magazine and DM

News for copywriter listings.

Another important factor to consider is the overall appearance

of your ads and brochures. Simply put, they should look

appealing and be easy to read. Make sure that you follow the

rules of typesetting, proper graphic techniques and, most

importantly, employ a stop-the- readers-in-their-tracks headline

and use well written, compelling ad copy.

Many self-publishers who sell by mail order offer some form of

money back guarantee. Most offer a 30 to 90 day refund for

returned books. Owen Publishing always gives a full year. A

good, reliable guarantee will definitely improve sales of your

Mail order book sales can also be increased by adding incentives

such as: 10% discount when buying before a certain date; free

report with each purchase; buy four books get the fifth one

free; or some other low-cost freebie. A bonus for promptness

almost always increases book sales. But remember, when you’re

mentioning your bonus, relate the benefits derived from that

bonus … not just the bonus itself. If you intend to sell your

book via mail order, observe the ads used by other booksellers

and take time to read several books about mail order techniques.

One of the lowest cost ways to sell your book by mail is called

the two-step method. Using this strategy, you place low- cost

classified ads to obtain inquiries for your book. You then send

to each inquiry a packet of information, including an effective

sales letter. Most often, you’ll want to send a follow- up

mailing to those who didn’t buy. And offer an additional

This two-step method is the lowest cost way to start. It’s used

by some very successful companies, and has led many self-

publishers to success. As time goes on, and your experience

increases, expand into display ads and direct mail campaigns.

One way to promote your book is by making personal appearances

at book stores. You can arrange a book signing party with the

book store owner or manager. The book store orders 50 or 100 of

your book and advertises the party. The author personally

autographs each book as it’s sold. Some authors go on national

tours that encompasses autographing parties, talk show

appearances, speeches, seminars and trade shows.

It should be mentioned that this way to sell your book is, in reality,

difficult. Getting book store owners or managers to agree to

“book signing” events takes some doing. Your topic must be very,

very interesting and you must be convincing enough to get your

foot in the door. It takes work, but it can be a lucrative way

The dealership selling method works well for many self-

publishers. There are many mail order book sellers who may be

interested in selling your books for you on a dropship basis.

The mail order book dealer advertises your book(s) in his

catalog and when an order arrives, sends you 50% (or whatever)

of the retail price along with a shipping label addressed to the

customer. You then ship the book directly to the buyer.

This method works very well if you have camera-ready advertising

brochures for the dealer to insert with his catalog or other

mailings. The dealer will put his name and address on the

brochure and have several thousand copies printed. He then

distributes these brochures along with his other sales

literature or, perhaps, even runs ads for your book.

Dealers can be found by placing small, inexpensive ads in the

opportunity-type magazines, and by adding the tag-line “Dealer

Inquiries Invited” to the bottom of your own sales materials.

There are many self-publishing groups that work together in

co-op marketing, either through book shows or by direct mail.

You may want to take advantage of these co-op efforts. Also,

there are many book shows going on all the time throughout the

country where you can exhibit and sell books directly, or make

Here are a few other ways your book can produce money for you:

selling through book clubs, selling subsidiary rights, movie

rights (wasn’t there a movie called How To Make Love To A

Married Woman, or something like that, based on a “how-to”

book?), or by selling foreign rights.

Anyway, all of these methods can produce some excellent profits

with little extra work on your part. It is suggested that you get

involved with a local self-publishers or writer’s group where

you can develop different ways to make money with your book.

One of the best ways to produce additional income from your book

is by selling products that are related to the book’s topic. If

you’re selling a book about making money with computers, for

example, you should include a catalog other computer books or

When you get an order for your main product (your book), you

ship the order along with a catalog of your other products.

Since the customer has already expressed an interest in your

topic by buying your book, a certain percentage of those buyers

will also be interested in your other related products. That is,

of course, assuming that your customer was satisfied. You can

get these other products by developing them yourself, or by

acting as a dealer for other companies. Some self-publishers

make more money from these “bounce back” catalog sales than they

did from the original book sale.

As your sales increase, you’ll need to keep a customer mailing

list. You can then mail catalogs or information on your latest

book throughout the year to your buyers. Whenever possible,

you’ll want to include discount coupons or other sales material

in the book itself. Why? To capture many of the names of people

who buy your book through bookstores or from dealers. You’ll

notice that many smart publishers include sales literature or

catalogs on the last few pages of the book in order to generate

Another important aspect of marketing is the manner in which you

operate your business. You should always bend over backwards to

treat the customer respectfully. Answer all complaints and ship

all refunds promptly. Process all orders fast and reply to every

inquiry the same day, if possible. You want to develop a good

reputation for your company, if you ever expect to harvest

Many self-publishing authors have become millionaires. Most make

an above average living. Writing and marketing your work, the

essence of self-publishing, takes learning, practice,

perseverance and determination. The work is “easy.” It’s not

like mining 16 tons of coal. But your brain must be engaged at

all times and you must constantly seek ways to better market

your book. About 5% of your efforts will be tied up in producing

your book … the other 95% will be marketing.

Understand this: No matter how good your book is, now matter how

well written, no matter how timely or interesting the topic,

nothing will happen until you lead your proper prospect to the

point of taking out his or her checkbook and actually buying.

So keep in mind that, not only must you prepare a salable book

or report, you must begin to master the techniques of marketing.

The two skills, writing and marketing, can be easily learned.

And, as you progress, you’ll discover pockets of profit that can

send your earnings sky high.

The potential for earning is staggering.

Writer’s Digest magazine at your newsstand

How To Write “How-To” Books & Articles by Raymond Hull Writer’s

Writer’s Resource Guide Edited by Bernadine Clark Writer’s

Writer’s Utopia Formula Report by Jerry Buchanan TOWERS Club USA

PO Box 2038 Vancouver, WA 98668

How To Make Your Advertising Make Money by John Caples Prentice

Ads That Sell by Robert Bly 174 Holland Ave. New Milford, NJ

The Secrets of Mail Order Unlocked by Ed Simpson Owen Publishing

Company Battle Ground, WA 98604-0010

The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter Para Publishing PO Box

4232 Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Publishing Short-Run Books by Dan Poynter (address above)

Plus, you’ll need a good dictionary, thesaurus and a book on the

Self-publishing your own book, like most worthwhile endeavors,

takes some amount of preparation. You can hire experts to do

part of the work for you (design covers, typesetting, editing,

indexing, ghostwriting, etc.). It is recommended that you do much

of the work yourself in order to save money and to help you

learn the ins and outs of book publishing.

You can save yourself some problems by preparing an overall plan

for producing and marketing your book. You’ll also want to

gather additional products related to the book’s topic that you

can sell for additional profits.

Thousands of successful authors have found that self-publishing

is the only route to take. Why not you?

Cite this How to Create Your Own Information Product

How to Create Your Own Information Product. (2018, Jun 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/dref/

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